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Consecration of Pauli Murray Icon by Christine Hales

Blessed Pauli Murray Icon

Consecration of Blessed Pauli Murray Icon


On February 23, my Blessed Pauli Murray Icon was consecrated at St. Thomas’Parish, in Croom Maryland.  I am honored to have been able to meet with many of the parishioners at the formation class between the 8am and 10:00am services to talk about Icons.  Pauli Murray had attended this church as a young woman.  A parishioner who had known her was able to share insights about her during the reception that followed the consecration.  The Reverend Canon Paula Clark gave a moving sermon about the many achievements of Pauli Murray. She talked about Pauli Murray’s strong faith through adversity.

Icons as Memorial Portraits

The very first Icons were memorial portraits of martyred saints in the Catacombs. This memorial portrait of Pauli Murray fits squarely within that tradition.  Rev. Dr. Peter Antoci, the priest-in charge and rector at St. Thomas Church, presided over the ceremony. At the spirited reception, the choir of St. Thomas, filled with singers young and old,  sang at the reception.

St. Thomas Choir
St. Thomas Choir

The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray

The Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray was an American civil rights activist, feminist, lawyer and ordained priest.   Her friends, Martin Luther King Jr, and Eleanor Roosevelt both inspired and supported her achievements for the rights of both women and racial equality.  Born in 1910, she died in 1985 and is now canonized in the Episcopal Church in 2018. After receiving law degrees from Howard University and the University of California, she worked as deputy attorney general of California in the 1940’s before pursuing a doctorate in law at Yale University in the 1960’s.

After reading Pauli Murray’s memoir ” Song In A Weary Throat”, I am inspired, too, by the life of Pauli Murray.  Her understanding that countering hate with love is the best way to effect positive change speaks volumes to me.  I can truly say that this Icon is one that I will remember for a long time.

Blessed Pauli Murray Icon by Christine Hales
Blessed Pauli Murray Icon by Christine Hales




Christine Simoneau Hales

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